Traditional Irish ceili comes to Berthoud

The Moriarty-Moffitt School of Irish Dance hosts the seventh Ceili in the Rockies at Grace Place Church on March 4.
Courtesy photo

By Katie Harris
The Surveyor

Longmont-based Moriarty-Moffitt School of Irish Dance hosts the seventh Ceili in the Rockies on Saturday, March 4, at Grace Place Church in Berthoud.

According to owner Jennifer Moriarty, she and co-owner Susannah Moffitt moved the event to Berthoud this year in the hopes of attracting members of the local community to come out and see what the school is all about.

“It’s a really fun family event,” said Moriarty. “We always host it around St. Patrick’s Day so that there’s an Irish event for people to attend.”

The Irish word ceili (pronounced kay-lee) means an Irish party or social gathering, and that’s just what this year’s event will be.

The evening’s entertainment will include a selection of traditional Irish dances performed by over 60 students from the Moriarty-Moffitt school, five of whom are from Berthoud.

In addition, Moriarty and Moffitt, both former professional dancers with Riverdance, will perform several sets alongside their students.

“Entertainment will take place all evening long,” said Moriarty. “We’ll even have a group dance where guests can come up to the stage and try out basic moves. Everyone always gets a kick out of that.”

Colorado Celtic rock band, Indigent Row, winner of the 2015 Denver Battle of the Bands, will perform original arrangements of traditional Irish music throughout the night.

Adult guests can enjoy a traditional meal of Shepherd’s pie, while children will be served macaroni and cheese and a cookie. A non-alcoholic beverage, salad, and a bread roll are also included in the ticket price.

Children’s games, a photo booth, cake walk, and silent auction will be set up in an adjacent room, and face painting will be available for an additional cost.

Tickets are priced at $20 for adults and $12 for children 14 and under, with ages 4 and under admitted free. Tables seating parties of eight are available to reserve in advance for $140. Tickets will be available at the door, but purchasing tickets in advance at www.mmirishdance.com/ is highly recommended.

All proceeds from the event go to Moriarty-Moffitt Dancers Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to sending dancers to national and international competitions, and providing dance scholarships to families.

Moriarty said last year’s event was attended by over 300 guests, and she hopes to see a similar turnout this year, including more Berthoud residents. As they say in Ireland, it’s sure to be a “whale of a time!”